AS the curtains came down on the 40th World Chess Olympiad on Sunday in Istanbul, Turkey, Jamaica defeated Malta in the Women’s section, while the men were held 2-2 by old nemesis Sri Lanka in the 11th and final round.
Also, two Jamaicans played their way to World Chess Federation titles. Co-national champion Damion Davy earned his Candidate Master title (CM), and Melisha Smith also earned the Women Candidate Master title (WCM).
Fresh from impressive back-to-back 4-0 wins, the Jamaican women tore apart Malta as WFM Deborah Richards-Porter squeezed a close win against WFM Pulpan Caruana; national champion Krishna Gray check-mated WCM Rivera Borg.
Ariel Barrett’s Giuoco Pianissimo opening proved too much for Jamie Farrusia, and Melisha Smith settled for a draw with Uranchimeg Psaila in a totally even position.
In the tie with Sri Lanka, CM Duane Rowe defeated Anuruddha Galappaththi; FM Warren Elliott drew with Dulan Edirisingle in an even rook and pawn ending; IM Jomo Pitterson’s King Indian Defense led to a draw with Withanage Perera; and Andrew ‘The Beast’ Mellace’s attempt to claim a Candidate Master title at his first Olympiad was thwarted by a mating-net cast by Papuge Jaysundaru, who won in 44 moves.
Armenia narrowly defeated Hungary to win the gold medal in the Open section of the 2012 Olympiad. It was Armenia’s third Olympiad win after they also won in 2006 and 2008.
Russia won big over Germany, but it was not enough as they had to settle for second place and the silver medal. Ukraine trounced China 3-1 to win the bronze, and the United States narrowly missed the bronze despite beating Poland, and had to content with fifth place behind China who fell to fourth.